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The Ghost Dance and the Wounded Knee Massacre
Digital History ID 702

Author:   Masse Hadjo
Date:1890

Annotation: In the Chicago Tribune, Masse Hadjo, a member of the Sioux, defended the Ghost Dance religion.


Document: You say, “If the United States army would kill a thousand or so of the dancing Indians there would be no more trouble.” I judge by the above language you are a “Christian,” and are disposed to do all in your power to advance the cause of Christ. You are doubtless a worshiper of the white man's Saviour, but are unwilling that the Indians should have a “Messiah” of their own.

The Indians have never taken kindly to the Christian religion as preached and practiced by the whites. Do you know why this is the case? Because the Good Father of all has given us a better religion--a religion that is all good and no bad, a religion that is adapted to our wants. You say if we are good, obey the Ten Commandments and never sin any more, we may be permitted eventually to sit upon a white rock and sing praises to God forevermore, and look down upon our heathen fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who are howling in hell.

It won't do. The code of morals as practiced by the white race will not compare with the morals of the Indians. We pay no lawyers or preachers, but we have not one-tenth part of the crime that you do. If our Messiah does come we shall not try to force you into our belief. We will never burn innocent women at the stake or pull men to pieces with horses because they refuse to join in our ghost dances....You are anxious to get hold of our Messiah, so you can put him in irons. This you may do--in fact, you may crucify him as you did that other one, but you cannot convert the Indians to the Christian religion until you contaminate them with the blood of the white man. The white man's heaven is repulsive to the Indian nature, and if the white man's hell suits you, why, you keep it. I think there will be white rogues enough to fill it.

Source: “An Indian on the Messiah Craze,” Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1890.

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